The main arguments as I understand them are: a) There's no there, there, and b) The CIA/Porter Goss is involved in some sort of vendetta against Harman.
Let's assume both of those are true.
The fascinating thing, then, is that the CIA/Goss is apparently willing to throw the Israel Lobby under the bus in their efforts to get Harman. That is some serious collateral damage!
Many of the Harman defenders are 'pro-Israel' - and curoiusly, much of the defense is Harman-specific. For some reason they don't seem to be arguing in defense of The Lobby/AIPAC. That is, apparently it is not surprising at all that The Lobby would try to turn Harman into an asset, but 'she didn't act on her promise!'. No crime here!
But even if Harman didn't act on her promise to the Israeli agent, and regardless of the definition of a 'completed crime,' surely there is news in the fact that an Israeli agent tried to place an 'asset' (or at a minimum, a prospective-asset) at the heart of US intelligence. (Of course, as a general matter, this is not surprising - but in this particular instance, it is still a significant crime, at the heart of the US government.)
Consider the counter-factual. Imagine, hypothetically, that an agent of Iran was caught offering a member of congress the Chair of House Intelligence. Imagine how different the reporting on this case would be. It appears as though all sides have simply accepted the fact that the Israel Lobby is engaged in this type of activity.
Perhaps that is why Goss et al were so comfortable in apparently throwing AIPAC under the bus in their atempts to harm Harman. It didn't even occur to them that any of this might reflect badly on AIPAC - and they were correct!
(As an aside, the Israeli Lobby seems to have decided on an interesting way to divert attention from the case. David Frum at the AEI, for example, writes:
No. It isn't. Not at all. And especially not to Frum, or to the audience he is writing for.)
"The story is almost insanely complicated."
The flipside to all of this is the Sibel Edmonds case. For some reason, nobody is shopping around the wiretaps of Hastert and others receiving bribes. Why not?
Consider Giraldi's recent pieces on Harman but substitute Hastert for Harman, and (maybe) substitute Israel for Turkey:
As a former intelligence officer who has himself recruited agents of influence, I can tell you that Harman was the fruit of a high level Israeli covert action.Consider that Hastert (and others) received legal campaign donations, then illegal campaign donations, then suitcases full of cash. It is exactly that cascading level of criminality that Giraldi speaks of. It is impossible to get rid of the skeleton in the closet, so the 'victim' of the original crime might as well profit from it along the way. There's plenty of money to share around.
The Israeli on the phone was committing espionage against the United States by trying to influence the actions of a government official and Harman was committing a number of possible crimes by agreeing to cooperate in return for her own personal advancement.
Please take my word for it that the quid pro quo is precisely how an intelligence officer recruits an agent. You ask for a favor and give a favor in return. As both the favor and the reward are illegal and the agreement itself can be used to blackmail the target of the operation, the target henceforth will be obligated to do what the intelligence officer wants or risk exposure.